Vienna, 9 September 2004 - Foreign Minister Benita Ferrero-Waldner will sign two bilateral agreements on the occasion of a two-day working visit by the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nasarbajew. With her Kazakh counterpart, Foreign Minister Kassymschumart Tokajew, she will sign the Austrian-Kazakh Double Taxation Convention and with the Kazakh Minister for Industry and Trade, Adilbek Dzhaksybekow, she will sign an agreement on economic, agricultural, ecological, industrial, technical and technological cooperation.
The conclusion of the Double Taxation Convention, which will eliminate any double taxation in the area of income and wealth taxes resulting from an overlapping of the national tax legislations applicable in Austria and Kazakhstan, has become necessary because economic relations between Austria and Kazakhstan have been increasingly strengthened in the last few years - Kazakhstan being Austria's most important economic partner in Central Asia. As Ferrero-Waldner commented: "This agreement will significantly increase the attractiveness of Austria as a target country for investments because it guarantees the legal certainty that constitutes an essential decision-making criterion for enterpreneurial commitment."
The second agreement provides for an intensified cooperation, particularly in the areas of alternative energies, environmental protection and environmental technologies. This ecological cooperation will open up important future markets for Austrian companies, some of which are among the world market leaders in the field of alternative energies. Furthermore, this agreement will essentially benefit Austrian-Kazakh cooperation in the areas of mining, healthcare and medical technology, residential construction and tourism.